Her green vision should be hailed

Sunday, 29 August, 2010

Mary Delahunty should be remembered not for her occasional frustration with anti-development groups (''Delahunty memoir reveals developer sway on planning'', 22/8) but for her historic vision and the green wedges protection policy she developed with the backing of then premier Steve Bracks in 2002.

Liberal planning minister Maclellan had opened the door and green wedges were under challenge from developers all over Melbourne. When Mary Delahunty found her own planning head had approved the subdivision of Eynesbury Estate on the Werribee River, despite her opposition, she decided strong measures were needed.

Legislation and planning provisions to protect green wedges were an integral part of the Melbourne 2030 metropolitan strategy, which Delahunty saw as a way to achieve population growth (to 4 not 7 million) while - in her words - ''protecting what we love about Melbourne''.

 

That these values have been betrayed was not Delahunty's fault: her expose of how developers exercise influence via political donations is still intensely relevant. Green wedge protection held reasonably well until its betrayal by Minister Madden's recent expansion of the urban growth boundary to excise 43,600 hectares of green wedge land along with the certainty needed for green wedge protection.

ROSEMARY WEST, Edithvale

The Age - letters to the editor

http://www.theage.com.au/national/letters/her-green-vision-should-be-hailed-20100828-13wq2.html

Green Wedges: